Hampshire motor company The Hendy Group has put its first 200 solar panels on the roof of one of its buildings in Chandler’s Ford.

They were installed at the Hendy Group’s Van and Truck Centre, in School Lane, by Renewable Energy Investments (REI) for free.

Under the initiative, Hendy Group will purchase clean, green electricity from REI at a heavily discounted rate before taking ownership of the system entirely in 20 years.

From then on it will have free solar energy for the remaining life of the equipment – typically another 15 years.

The company is set to install solar panels on its other dealerships across the south with help from REI, based in Dorset.

Already 20 per cent of the building’s electricity has been generated by the 50 kilowatt system, but more is expected during the summer months.

The solar PV system at Hendy’s van and truck workshop on the Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate is one of a large number of systems being rolled out nationwide by REI under its new Solar Power Purchase Scheme.

Toby Smith, projects director at REI, said an advantage of this innovative scheme was that REI invests in the solar technology on a business’s behalf so it can continue to spend on its core business activities.

The Hendy Group is based in Chandler’s Ford, but has dealerships at locations across the south, including Southampton, Portsmouth, Fareham, Eastleigh and Winchester.